Quietly the Cowboys are suffering as they watch elite caliber players get swept up in free agency.
The Cowboys inactive behavior doesn’t suggest they are without needs, quite contrary actually. The Cowboys direly need an upgrade at offensive guard, safety, running back, outside linebacker and defensive line.
The crazy thing is, it’s not the needs that bare the biggest question. To me, the biggest uncertainty is at the quarterback position.
Yes, the Cowboys have Tony Romo who is arguably a top-10 quarterback in this league. While I’m a supporter of Romo, a legitimate question can be posed about what his future in Dallas will look like exactly.
At this point we had expected to hear news about Tony Romo signing an extension with the Cowboys that would virtually see him retire with the organization after a productive career has been completed. The move would create cap space and solidify the position for the not-too-distant future.
A closer look brings up a point – Is the extension a good idea?
Forget the post-season win totals, the bad decisions and your overall opinion of Romo and look at this from a strictly business standpoint.
On one hand, Romo is a very successful and consistent regular season quarterback. He holds multiple Cowboys passer records and should continue to set those marks. Additionally, he’s coming off his highest passing total ever (4,903 yards) and only two seasons removed from the best season of his career.
On the other hand, Romo is due $16,818,833 this season. If he signs an extension you can imagine he’d make at the very least a $14M/year salary. Now add that to the $112M and $104M committed over 2014 and 2015 and also be aware that Sean Lee, Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, DeMarco Murray, Bruce Carter and Dwayne Harris’s contracts will all expire over that span.
It all boils down to this: Is Tony Romo’s regular season play worth risking the longevity of the young core you were able to build with two successful drafts?
An argument I’ve heard is that the Cowboys just need to keep drafting well and this won’t matter. That’s true, except the Cowboys aren’t known for their drafting prowess.
Look, Romo would hit the Cowboys with approximately $27M of dead money if he is traded or released this season. So in that regard their hands are tied. However, what’s the harm in letting him play out the season without the extension and re-evaluating where you stand at the end of his commitment?
I’m not saying that Romo needs to go right away, what I’m saying is that you have to properly weigh the risk / reward when you’re considering signing him to a lucrative long-term contract.
When you consider all the facts, you see that quarterback might be the biggest need of all.